Selling Rights  book cover
7th Edition

Selling Rights

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ISBN 9780415835640
Published October 24, 2014 by Routledge
466 Pages

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Book Description

Selling Rights has firmly established itself as the leading guide to all aspects of rights sales and co-publications throughout the world. The seventh edition is substantially updated to illustrate the changes in rights in relation to new technologies and legal developments in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.

This fully revised and updated edition includes:

  • coverage of the full range of potential rights from English-language territorial rights through to serial rights, permissions, rights for the reading-impaired, translation rights, dramatization and documentary rights, electronic and multimedia rights
  • More detailed coverage of Creative Commons and Open Access
  • The aftermath of the Digital Economy Act 2010, the Hooper Report and new UK Statutory Instruments affecting copyright
  • Updated coverage of book fairs
  • The implications of adding e-book rights to print licences
  • A separate chapter on collective licensing via Reproduction Rights Organizations
  • The impact of new electronic hardware (e-readers, tablets, mobile phones) – the distinction between sales and licences
  • the rights implications of acquisitions, mergers and disposals
  • updates on serial rights, including online
  • New appendices listing territories normally sought as exclusive by UK publishers and a glossary of rights specific terms.

Selling Rights is an essential reference tool and an accessible and illuminating guide to current and future issues for rights professionals and students of publishing.

Table of Contents

1. Rights: the historical and legal background  2. The publishing contract: who should control the rights?  3. An expanding range of possibilities  4. The rationale behind rights sales  5. Selling rights: who and how?  6. Tackling the task: essentials  7. Rights selling: a range of methods  8. Book fairs and sales trips: preparation, survival and follow-up  9. English-language territorial rights: coeditions and licences  10. Book club rights  11. Paperback rights  12. Low-price reprint rights  13. Other reprint rights  14. Serial rights and one-shot periodical rights  15. Digest and condensation rights  16. Translation rights: coeditions and licences  17. Anthology and quotation rights  18. Rights for the reading impaired  19. Single-voice readings  20. Audio recording and video recording rights  21. Dramatization and documentary rights: stage, radio, television and film rights  22. Merchandising rights  23. Collective licensing  24. The internet and publishing  25. Electronic publishing and multimedia rights  26. Supply of duplicate production material to licensees  Appendix 1: Glossary of common terms used in rights  Appendix 2: Territories often sought as exclusive by British publishers  Appendix 3: Useful names and addresses

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Lynette Owen OBE is a freelance specialist in copyright, rights and licensing issues and a consultant on the promotion and sale of rights in print and digital environments. She is the General Editor of, and a contributor to, Clark's Publishing Agreements: A Book of Precedents (9th edition, Bloomsbury Professional, 2013). She was previously Copyright Director of Pearson Education and has also worked for Cambridge University Press, Pitman Publishing and Marshall Cavendish. She chairs the Publishers Association Rights Group and is also a member of the International Publishers Association Copyright Committee.


"For an author who comes from the publishing industry, committing one's work to print and therefore the scrutiny of one's colleagues and peers is always an act of great bravery, for it takes no prisoners when it comes to appraising grammar, punctuation, syntax and style, not to mention content. Lynette Owen not only passes all the tests, but here writing is pitch-perfect: erudite, interesting and witty. Do you want to know what Mark Twain thought about copyright? Bone up on the Google Library Project? Discover the terms of the NESLi licence? Pinpoint your exact rights as a co-edition publisher? This is the book for you." - Linda Bennett, The Publishers Association

"Owen displays and extraordinary knowledge of all aspects of rights and also an inspiring affection for the world of rights selling. The combination of a clear, detailed technical approach together with helpful practical advice makes this book indispensible to everyone working in or interested in the field of rights, be they a publishing student, someone at the start of a career in rights or a seasoned professional. Elgantly written, practical, definitive - I have found each edition of Selling Rights to be essential reading." Andrea Joyce, BookBrunch

"The book offers comprehensive guidance on all aspects of rights and licensing, from what might be considered the traditional (film, translation, and quotation rights) through to digital licensing of content, including the development of apps, with examination of rights for the reading impaired, serial rights, and permissions along the way. There is simply no other book on the market that deals with the subject in so detailed a way... Lynette Owen’s Selling Rights continues to be the definitive reference for all those involved in the licensing of copyrights" - Sue Mattingley, International Rights Manager at Wiley-Blackwell, in Learned Publishing

"Selling Rights remains the bible for UK rights practitioners. Even those who have well-thumbed copies of every previous edition on their shelf will find much of interest and plenty of Owen's straightforward and practical advice." - Logos

Praise for the Previous Edition:

'I have previously described Selling Rights as an indispensable, one-stop reference work for everybody working in rights. It remains that, but also has a wider purpose in raising issues for discussion and reflection about copyright, the exploitation of rights and possible future developments…Selling Rights is not just for rights staff in publishing, it is for all in publishing who want to know about rights' The Bookseller

'Selling Rights fulfils many invaluable functions – it is essential bookshelf ready-reference, and a useful companion when handling tricky or unfamiliar rights situations…it is an ideal desk-companion for experienced rights practitioners and beginners alike' – Publishing News

'This is a standard work which all publishers should have on their shelves.  It is also a worthwhile buy for serious authors especially those seeking to make publishing a career, as it will make talking to publishers/agents much easier' Logos

'All aspects of rights selling are covered, starting with the clearest definition of copyright I've ever seen, through to the intricacies of the fast-moving, and often confusing, world of digital rights'   Carole Blake,

'This is not a book just for rights people. All publishing managers need to have access to it'The Publishers Association